Port Chester, NY -- On Saturday, July 31st, 2021, the STEER Alumni Association held their first in-person event at the Carver Center. The Alumni Association, led by alumni Rayder Sanchez and Nicole Barros, has a mission to create an alumni community where former student-athletes can connect and where alumni can connect with the program's current students and staff. The Association envisions creating a community where alumni can connect, provide feedback to current members, and better serve the community.
Students from Port Chester, Yonkers, and the Bronx gathered to reconnect with one another while being formally inducted into the Alumni Association. Recent graduates from the Class of 2021 Angel Leon, Raheim Bryant, Rayshawn Bryant, Daniela Blum, Jadin Pereyra, Camila Napoli, Kelly Barrera, were in attendance and able to meet with alumni who are already in college or have graduated college, such as Joseph Tapia (‘20), Ayenaliz Velasquez (‘19), Jordan Lewis (‘18), Kimberly Reyes (‘18), Nicole Barros (‘18), Montserrat Cardenas (‘16), Steven Hernandez (‘16), and Rayder Sanchez (‘16).
STEER staff and Alumni Association Administrators, Anthony Vaglica and Derek Vincent, facilitated an introduction of our alumni to alumni mentors who are individuals from the Port Chester community who are helping to give back by providing connections to internship opportunities, employment opportunities, and networking opportunities. Learn more about our Alumni Association at: https://www.steerforstudentathletes.org/our-alumni.html.
On June 17th, 2021, STEER had its 7th Annual Graduation Celebration, which included video messages from each of the 2021 STEER graduates. These STEER graduates will be attending the likes of College of Mount Saint Vincent, SUNY Albany, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, St. John's University, Baruch College, Fordham University, Jacksonville University, Union College, Southern Connecticut State University, Mercy College, and many more! Though this celebration was held virtually, the student-athletes were able to celebrate their achievements with the entire STEER family.
Our graduates have worked tremendously hard to get to where they are today. That hard work paid off as each of our students graduated from high school and were accepted into college. Our students have had to overcome many obstacles due to the pandemic occurring at such a critical time in their high school journey. With that being said, these graduates have just begun new journeys beyond STEER and we are proud to share in their accomplishments. Below you will find a list of our graduating seniors and their plans for the future.
Rabel Badia, Port Chester High School, Westchester Community College
Kelly Barrera, Port Chester High School, Manhattanville College
Daniela Blum, Palisade Preparatory School, Mercy College
Raheim Bryant, Palisade Preparatory School, College of Mount Saint Vincent
Rayshawn Bryant, Palisade Preparatory School, College of Mount Saint Vincent
Takira Bryant, Palisade Preparatory School, SUNY Oswego
Nicholas Dorazio, Port Chester High School, Russell Sage College
Jalen Higgins, Palisade Preparatory School, College of Mount Saint Vincent
Steven Hightower, Port Chester High School, University of Pittsburgh
Rahsheek Hill, Port Chester High School, Syracuse University
Christian Jimenez, Palisade Preparatory School
Jakym Jordan, Port Chester High School, Alfred State College
Angel Leon, Careers in Sports High School, St. John’s University
Wilver Mariano-Peralta, Careers in Sports High School, Baruch College
Steven Marte, Port Chester High School, Westchester Community College
Jeral Mendoza, Careers in Sports High School, Bronx Community College
Amber Molina, Port Chester High School, Fordham University
Emily Morocho, Port Chester High School, St. Bonaventure University
Camila Napoli, Port Chester High School, Jacksonville University
Yenely Payano Lora, Careers in Sports High School, Union College
Jadin Pereyra, Palisade Preparatory School, SUNY Albany
Javier Rivera, Careers in Sports High School, John Jay College
Kayla Saavedra, Port Chester High School, Mercy College
Dan Santana Diaz, Palisade Preparatory School, Full Sail University
Justin Santillan, Trumbull High School, Southern Connecticut State University
Curtis Terry Jr., Palisade Preparatory School, Westchester Community College
Bryonna Truss, Palisade Preparatory School, Employment at NY Presbytarian
Jayson Vargas, Palisade Preparatory School, College of Mount Saint Vincent
Jaylene Zucco, Palisade Preparatory School, Pursuing Nail Technician Certification
Congratulations to STEER’s Class of 2021!
February 27, 2021 - Hosted at Port Chester High School, "Bootcamp Day" was an event run by the Port Chester STEER advisor team in an effort to increase in person advisor/mentee time. Bootcamp Day marks the first time the Port Chester advisor/student-athlete team has formally gathered since last March.
The morning's activities included a combination of a strength and conditioning workout led by Port Chester High School physical education teacher, Jonathan Plato, and teamwork reflection sessions led by youth development expert, Michael Arterberry. Arterberry has been working with all STEER student-athletes since Fall 2020, providing bimonhtly resiliency workshops via Zoom.
The student-athletes ended the day with a brief refection on their experience. Read some highlights and see pictures from the event below.
*All CDC guidelines including the proper usage of face coverings and social distancing protocol were followed throughout the entirety of this event.*
I learned that mind over matter is the key to being mentally strong."
Today, I learned how to work with people I have never worked with before.
The STEER Bootcamp made me remember my resolve to play college soccer in the future.
To: The Honorable George Latimer, Westchester County Executive
Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Health
Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden, Executive Director, Westchester County Youth Bureau
Ernest McFadden, Westchester County Youth Bureau
Please accept this letter of gratitude from STEER for Student Athletes. STEER for Student Athletes is a
nonprofit organization that operates in the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District (Port Chester Middle
School and Port Chester High School) and the Yonkers Public School District (Palisade Preparatory School).
Since 2012, STEER has provided mentorship to students in these communities to support college and career
readiness. STEER offers support services that include social, academic, and athletic assistance to individual
students. This enables them to graduate high school, prepare for further education, and enter into the workforce.
During this time, we recognize that many have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Many students have
suffered the loss of their athletic seasons; whether it was their first season, their final season, or their breakout
season, we recognize what this loss has meant for the student-athletes. The pandemic has allowed our
student-athletes to reflect, never take a practice or competition for granted, and see the impact athletics has had
through a different lens. From everyone at STEER, we want to thank you for working on getting athletes back
on the fields, courts, mountains, tracks, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and all other competition fields! We are
grateful for the continued financial support we have received from the county throughout the pandemic; the
county's support of our mission has allowed us to continue to support our students.
We wanted you to know how grateful everyone in the STEER organization is for the opportunity to compete
once again and be part of something special. Most importantly, we thought you should hear from some of our
Jalen Brown, Junior, Palisade Preparatory School - “I am grateful to be playing basketball again because I
can finally get some exercise and be out of the house. Playing basketball again is a great way to get me back in
shape. I missed playing with my friends. I am grateful to have a season and be able to play this year.”
Daniela Blum, Senior, Palisade Preparatory School - "The approval of sports has made my senior year so
much better! Being able to play sports brought a piece of myself back together. COVID-19 and quarantine
brought my spirit down for a while, I missed being productive and active on a daily basis. Volleyball and
softball gave that to me. So finally knowing and receiving the news that we’ll be able to play, made me so
happy because playing and sharing quality time with my dear team brings joy to my life, plus I’m extremely
competitive so sports gives me the chance to use that competitiveness of mine in use!”
Ashley Garcia, Junior, Port Chester High School - “I am very happy about sports coming back because it
brings back some normalcy to many athletes during these difficult times. Also, we are able to do what we love
while staying safe which is the most important.”
Yelanni Diaz, Sophomore, Port Chester High School - “Playing soccer this year was definitely a blessing in so
many ways. Soccer has always been an escape for me, so being able to do what I loved in these times was amazing. My team and I had an amazing season despite the obstacles COVID brought and I can’t wait for next season!”
Colin Taylor, Sophomore, Port Chester High School - “This past year has taken a toll on everyone in our own way,
with COVID-19 canceling/delaying high school sports. As an athlete, I'm honestly humbled to even go to practice because it's been so long due to the rise of COVID cases. Everyone is hungry to get back on that field and put on a game for the town. With sports comes responsibility so this gives boys and girls hope and a boost to do better and excel.”
With sincere gratitude and appreciation,
STEER FOR STUDENT ATHLETES
Virtual STEER for Student Athletes Holiday Celebration touts accomplishments while spreading needed cheer
12/16/2020 - The STEER community gathered virtually to celebrate student accomplishments from the second half of 2020. Our virtual celebrations included welcome messages, program reviews, student speakers and everyone's favorite - our annual holiday raffle!
View our Holiday Celebration video below.
August 27th, 2020 - Members of our Educational Advisory Board gathered virtually to participate in their first meeting with Front Office staff and STEER school captains. The purpose of the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) is to join STEER leaders as thought partners in considering new programs and innovations. The diversity of the EAB brings varied and valuable perspectives to our organization.
The inaguaral meeting asked our EAB members and staff to consider the topic of 'Ensuring Student Career Readiness' in their conversation. Each panelist was asked to make an opening statement on the topic followed by questions prepared by the Front Office staff. Key discussion points that emerged from the hour long discussion included: the importance of mentorship in student development, the impact exposure opportunities can have on a student's life trajectory, and how to ensure we can support students in preparing for the adapting college and career worlds.
Click here for more information on our Educational Advisory Board.
PORT CHESTER, NY - On Thursday, August 13th at 7am, The PC Hunger Fighters, a group of Port Chester High School STEER student-athletes, gathered at the Drew St. senior apartments ready to pitch tents, unload and sort food donations, and make sure their public operation would adhere to current CDC guidelines.
Leading up to Thursday, the students had spent over two months preparing for their Free Farmer’s Market event through the framework of STEER’s Project-Based Learning program; as part of the program, students develop a project of their choice while they participate in a leadership course through Lead 4 Change. Made possible through STEER’s Work to Learn fund, students are compensated for their participation in the course with a stipend encouraging them to engage in relevant and meaningful experiences that incorporate both education and work.
The PC Hunger Fighter’s formed in 2019 as part of STEER’s first Project-Based Learning program cohort. That summer, the program participants identified food insecurity as one of the strongest issues facing their peers and social circles in the community. The students successfully installed vertical gardens in the Weber Drive Community Garden to provide an extra source of food for the housing residents. The group earned national recognition for their summer work and was named one of seven Summer 2019 Lead4Change Student Leadership Award winners.
Our 2020 program has expanded the capacity of the PC Hunger Fighters. Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students chose to continue their efforts towards combating the growing issue of food insecurity in Port Chester. The PC Hunger Fighters met virtually twice a week to establish their goals, outline a vision for their market, and connect with donors and partners as far as New Paltz, NY. Donations received included fresh fruit and vegetables, pantry staples, and dairy products. Over the summer, the full group met in person only on the day of the event. The PC Hunger Fighters distributed food to over 350 families in Port Chester including seniors, school district families, and community members who heard of the event via the students’ extensive social media marketing campaign.
As 2019 showed, the PC Hunger Fighters are committed to spreading awareness for the issue of food insecurity in their community. This summer they plan to continue to help their community by volunteering their insight and energy to other local food distribution events.